Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (US-FNA) biopsy is a widely used minimally invasive sampling procedure for cytological diagnosis. This study investigates the feasibility of using US-FNA samples for both cytological diagnosis and whole transcriptome RNA-sequencing analysis (RNA-Seq), with the ultimate aim of improving canine prostate cancer management. The feasibility of the US-FNA procedure was evaluated intra vitam on 43 dogs. Additionally, aspirates from 31 euthanised dogs were collected for standardising the procedure. Each aspirate was separated into two subsamples: for cytology and RNA extraction. Additional prostate tissue samples served as control for RNA quantity and quality evaluation, and differential expression analysis. The US-FNA sampling procedure was feasible in 95% of dogs. RNA isolation of US-FNA samples was successfully performed using phenol-chloroform extraction. The extracted RNA of 56% of a subset of US-FNA samples met the quality requirements for RNA-Seq. Expression analysis revealed that only 153 genes were exclusively differentially expressed between non-malignant US-FNAs and tissues. Moreover, only 36 differentially expressed genes were associated with the US-FNA sampling technique and unrelated to the diagnosis. Furthermore, the gene expression profiles clearly distinguished between non-malignant and malignant samples. This proves US-FNA to be useful for molecular profiling.
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